In a Nutshell
Newcastle designated Sunday’s match as “#RiseforAlex” afternoon in honour of injured backrower Alex Mitchell who broke his neck in last Monday’s match against the Storm. And they rose to the occasion, with the Knights blowing Cronulla off the pitch.
How it unfolded
Coach Wayne Bennett was heavy with emotion when he noted after the success: “It was the hardest week. A hard day. I was pleased to be here and get it done.”
Newcastle never gave Cronulla a chance. Three tries in the first 15 minutes had the Knights ahead 14-nil and, with all the emotional of the day, there was no way the Sharks would come back.
They trailed 26-0 at the interval – and although they tried hard overcoming such a deficit was far beyond them.
Samoa’s World Cup centre BJ Leilua had a great game and was rewarded with a hat-trick of tries, while veteran Willie Mason turned back the clock with a stirring performance.
Full coverage of this weekend’s NRL games can be seen in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express, available in the shops and online from Sunday evening at 11.00pm (UK time).